TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. GS1 Related ART AND CULTURE 1. SC pulls up U.P. for Taj document B. GS2 Related POLITY & GOVERNANCE 1. West Bengal renames itself as ‘Bangla’ 2. West Bengal Assembly passes Lokayukta Bill 3. SC: can’t ignore ban on women in Sabarimala C. GS3 Related ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT 1. PSUs biggest donors to Clean Ganga Fund SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 1. Magsaysay Award for ‘3 idiots’ muse ECONOMY 1. Arunachal to launch new health insurance scheme D. GS4 Related E. Editorials HEALTH 1. Tackling HIV F. Tidbits G. Prelims Fact H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
A. GS1 Related
- The Supreme Court came down heavily on the Uttar Pradesh government for a draft report on the vision document for the protection of the Taj Mahal without consulting the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) tasked with protecting the monument.
Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ)
- The TTZ is an area of 10,400 square kilometres spread over the districts of Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur in Rajasthan.
- “What will happen if UNESCO says we will withdraw the world heritage tag from the Taj Mahal,” the Bench asked Mr. Venugopal.
- The Bench also asked whether the Centre or the authorities concerned submitted the draft management plan for the Taj Mahal to UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre in Paris.
- It directed the ASI to submit its report on the vision document and spell out the steps to protect the monument.
Highlights of the issue
- The State had not consulted the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
- A Bench of Justices expressed shock at the report, which pointed to the presence of over 1,100 polluting industries in the region.
- “We would not have been in this position, had you done your job,” the Bench said, adding that there was no coordination among the agencies responsible for the protection and preservation of the 17th century monument.
- “We can’t have 10 different people doing 10 different thing,” the Bench said, as it asked Attorney- General K.K. Venugopal which department of the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh governments was responsible for maintenance of the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ).
B. GS2 Related
- The West Bengal Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution to change the name of the State as ‘Bangla’ in three languages — Bengali, English and Hindi.
About the issue
- The proposal has been pending since August 2016, when the Assembly passed a resolution to change the name to ‘Bengal’ in English, ‘Bangla’ in Bengali and ‘Bangal’ in Hindi.
- The Centre, however, turned it down in 2017, objecting to having three names in three languages.
Resolution passed for change of name
- Education Minister Partha Chatterjee moved the resolution which was unanimously passed.
- Assembly gives its nod for change.
- Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she had taken up the issue with the Home Ministry. “They said that there cannot be three different names and we should stick to one name. “Even though we wanted three names, we have to follow instructions. Let us pass resolution for Bangla,” the Chief Minister said.
- The State Assembly passed the West Bengal Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill, 2018 after the Supreme Court in March had pulled up 11 States over not appointing an ombudsman for graft cases.
- The Bill excludes the Chief Minister from the Lokayukta’s purview in matters relating to public order.
- The Bill said that the provisions of excluding Chief Minister is in line with the provisions contained in the proviso to section 41 (1) (a) of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.
- The legislators said that the particular section of the Central Act refers to excluding Prime Minister from the purview of investigation of the Lokpal.
- An amendment which was passed by the House, said that other than public order, the Lokayukta shall investigate any complaint relating to any allegation of corruption against the Chief Minister “with the approval of West Bengal Legislative Assembly, by a majority of two-third members present and voting”.
- The exclusion of prime minister primarily pertains to administrative decisions such as deployment of police towards the maintenance of public order.
- The Bill passed in the West Bengal Assembly also has a provision that an investigation against a public servant cannot be carried out without the approval of the State government.
- The Supreme Court on Thursday said irrespective of the submissions that Lord Ayyappa of the Sabarimala temple has “celibate character”, it could not remain “oblivious” of the fact that the entry of women in the age group of 10-50 was barred on the “physiological ground” of menstruation.
- A five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, however, termed as “impressive” the persuasive and vehement submissions of advocate Sai Deepak, appearing for People for Dharma and NGO Chetna that Lord Ayyappa being a “juristic person” has the right to preserve his “brahmacharya” (celibate) character under the Constitution.
- But the court can’t be oblivious of the fact of the case that a class of women is disallowed due to physiological reasons (menstruation).
- The Bench, which was hearing pleas of the Indian Young Lawyers Association and others challenging the ban, asked whether the practice at Sabarimala of barring women of the age group of 10-50 years from entering the temple was an “essential and integral” practice of a religious denomination.
The core of issue
- Whether Constitution overrides all other aspects. If yes, then nobody can exclude a class of women from visiting a temple.”
- Essentiality aspect has taken charge of Article 25 (freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion) under the Constitution, but it should not be so. Because of the fact that something is essential to the religion it becomes inviolable.
- Due to this essentiality doctrine, judges, including the Supreme Court judges, are now assuming a ‘theological mantle,’ which we are not expected to do.
C. GS3 Related
- The government has committed to cleaning nearly 70-80% of the river by March next year.
- Nearly 90% of the dedicated fund that the Water Ministry has collected as part of donations for various projects to clean the Ganga is sourced from State and Central government public sector units (PSU).
- The Water Minister Nitin Gadkari has directed that focus should be on getting money from the private sector.
- Director-General for National Mission for Clean Ganga, which coordinates programme activities. The government will be putting in place nearly 288 projects, worth ₹20,000 crore, and clean up 70%-80% of the river by March next year.
Clean Ganga Fund (CGF)
- The Clean Ganga Fund (CGF), was created in 2014 and envisioned as a source of funds from private companies, individuals and institutions.
- Minister of State Satyapal Singh reported that ₹220 crore was donated to the CGF as of January 2018.
- Private companies contributed around ₹20 crore and the public sector, Central public sector and Government Departments contributed about ₹177 crore. The rest were from individual donations.
What is the Magsaysay Award?
- The Ramon Magsaysay Award is an annual award established to perpetuate former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay’s example of integrity in governance, courageous service to the people, and pragmatic idealism within a democratic society.
Two Indians are among six winners
- Wangchuk and Mr. Vatwani are among six winners of the award, which “celebrates greatness of spirit and transformative leadership in Asia.”
- Sonam Wangchuk, a 51-year-old educational reformer from Ladakh, widely regarded as the inspiration for Aamir Khan’s character, in the film ‘3 Idiots,’ is one of two Indians named for the 2018 Ramon Magsaysay Awards.
- Wangchuk was a 19-year-old engineering student at the NIT, Srinagar, when he took up tutoring. He helped students pass the national college matriculation exams.
- In 1988, Mr. Wangchuk founded the Students’ Education and Cultural Movement of Ladakh to coach Ladakhi students
- Bharat Vatwani, a psychiatrist who works for mentally ill street people in Mumbai.
- Vatwani was recognised for “his tremendous courage and healing compassion.”
- The others are Youk Chhang from Cambodia, Maria de Lourdes Martins Cruz from East Timor, Howard Dee from the Philippines and Vo Thi Hoang Yen from Vietnam.
- It Will enable citizens to avail of cashless health services in empanelled hospitals
- The Arunachal Pradesh government has said it would soon replace the health insurance scheme conceived by the previous regime with a new one.
- The new Chief Minister’s Arogya Arunachal Yojana (CMAAY) will enable citizens to avail cashless health services in empanelled hospitals.
- The scheme will offer healthcare services of up to ₹5 lakh per family per year.
- “Launching a scheme is not difficult but successfully running it is difficult. Therefore, everything should be well studied from the very beginning and all scopes for hurdles to creep in should be nipped at the bud.
D. GS4 Related
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1. Tackling HIV
A new report from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) bears good news for the global war against HIV.
What does the report say?
- Between 2010 and 2017, several countries made rapid progress in reducing HIV incidence and getting antiretroviral therapy to patients.
- Today, 3 out of 4 people with HIV know their status, and 21.7 million get treatment.
- The largest reduction in incidence came from eastern and southern Africa.
- Asia also made significant progress in terms of reduction in incidence of HIV.
What is the status in India?
- India brought down the number of new cases and deaths by 27% and 56%, respectively, between 2010 and 2017.
- Tuberculosis is the biggest killer of HIV patients across the world. India is now able to treat over 90% of notified TB patients for HIV.
- Social stigma surrounding AIDS-infected people in India, while high, is declining slowly too.
Critical gaps in India’s strategy:
Even as India celebrates such progress, it is important to be mindful of the scale of the challenge. With 2.1 million cases, India is among the largest burden countries in the world.
- Homosexual men, drug-users and sex workers are at the highest risk of HIV.
- There are troubling patterns in the society with respect to social stigma attached to HIV patients. India must find ways to reach such groups.
- The UNAIDS report points out that a country’s laws can legitimise stigma and give licence to the harassment of such groups at the highest risk of HIV. India’s laws it must do more in removing social stigma
- India criminalises several aspects of sex work and Section 377 of the IPC criminalises gay sex. Studies show that fear of prosecution under such laws prevents such groups at high risk of contracting the infection seek screening and treatment. As a result, these groups lag behind average treatment rates.
- Stigma isn’t just social: it frequently means that patients end up having to spend much more money for either insurance or medical treatment simply because of their condition. Some places even simply turn away people with HIV or AIDS.
HIV/AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2017:
- The Lok Sabha in April 2017 passed the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2017.
- The Bill seeks to give a legislative framework to existing norms of non-discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, most crucially, making it a legally punishable offence to deny such a person health insurance on the ground of the infection.
- Short of changing the law, the Centre can consider targeted interventions.
- Sensitising police personnel and educating female sex workers can greatly reduce arbitrary police raids and arrests.
- The right to health is universal. India must take note of this to ensure that no one is left behind in the fight against HIV.
- India has brought down HIV incidence, but it must do more in removing social stigma.
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G. Prelims Fact
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H. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
Question 1. For the protection and preservation of the monument Taj Mahal
- The State Government has to consult the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
- Is state government itself is responsible for maintenance of the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ).
Which of the above statement(s) is/are incorrect?
- Only 1
- Only 2
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Question 2. Which union ministry has organized the 2nd meeting of National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges under POSHAN Abhiyaan in New Delhi?
- Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
- Ministry of Panchayati Raj
- Ministry of Food Processing Industries
- Ministry of Women and Child Development
Question 3. Which state government has launched a plantation drive ‘Green Mahanadi Mission’?
- West Bengal
Question 4. The aim of Rowlatt Act was:
- To provide for compulsory economic
- Support to British war efforts.
- To curb the activities of trade unions.
- To curtail the civil liberties of Indians.
Question 5. Consider the following statements about Clean Ganga Fund?
- Activities outlined under the ‘Namami Gange’ programme for cleaning of river Ganga.
- Control of non-point pollution from agricultural runoff, human defecation, cattle wallowing etc.
- Setting up of waste treatment and disposal plants along the river around the cities.
- Conservation of the biotic diversity of the river.
Which of the above statement(s) is/are correct?
- 1, 2, and 3 only
- 1, 2, 3 and 5 only
- 1, 2, 3, and 5 only
- All of the above
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
Reviving pre-legislative scrutiny will produce laws that better reflect the will of the people. Comment.
Pakistan election is a plot by military in the guise of Democracy. What can India expect from Pakistan elections?
Also, check previous Daily News Analysis
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